Libya's Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the death sentences of five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor convicted of infecting more than 400 children with the AIDS virus.
But the verdict issued by Judge Fathi Dahan is not the final word. Libya's Supreme Judicial Council, which is headed by the minister of justice, could approve or reject the convictions or set a lighter sentence.
In announcing the verdict, the judge mentioned nothing about a settlement announced Tuesday by a foundation headed by the Libyan leader's son. The Gadhafi foundation had said that the families of the HIV-infected children reached an agreement with the nurses and doctor but did not provide more details.
The five nurses and doctor, who have been in Libyan custody since 1999, have said they are innocent. Libyan court officials said they admitted infecting the children, but some of the nurses have since said they confessed under beatings and torture.